with republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit -- a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. i'm willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other americans who depend on it. and i'm willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts i signed into law last year. but if we're serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy -- and if we're serious about protecting middle-class families -- then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates. that's one principle i won't compromise on. after all, this was a central question in the election. a clear majority of americans -- democrats, republicans and independents -- agreed with a balanced approach that asks something from everyone, but a little more from those who can most afford it. it's the only way to put our economy on a sustainable path without asking even more from the middle class. and it'